California Labor Laws
Streamline compliance with workforce management software
Among the states, California has uniquely stringent labor laws. The following summarizes some of the most challenging California labor laws and shows how WorkForce Software’s workforce management software is able to address complex regulations.
California Overtime Laws
For more than 8 hours in a day, an employee must be paid 1.5 times his or her regular rate, and for over 12 hours in a day must be paid twice their regular rate. In addition, if an employee works 7 consecutive days in a workweek, they must be paid 1.5 times their regular rate for the first 8 hours on the seventh day, and double-time for any hours over 8. The 7th consecutive day law applies for most employees, regardless of how many hours they worked in the preceding six days. Also, any hours over 40 in a week must be paid at time and a half.
Overtime Exempt Employees
Certain employees may be exempt from overtime, including those that generally spend more than 50% of their time performing exempt work. In determining if an employee is exempt, employers should examine the work actually performed by the employee and not merely rely on their job title. An employee’s job title has no effect on whether an employee is exempt from overtime.
Alternative Work Schedules
Establishing an alternative workweek schedule takes careful planning and several steps. Ultimately if two-thirds of the affected employees agree on an alternative work schedule (as decided by a secret ballot election), then a schedule may be implemented of up to 10 hours in a day, but no more than 40 hours per week. Overtime must be paid for all hours exceeding 10 in a workday or 40 in a workweek.
If an employee cannot work the alternative schedule the employer is required to make a reasonable effort to accommodate the employee.
If an employee misses work time due to a personal obligation, and decides to make up the lost time later in the same week, the employer is not obligated to pay overtime if the employee doesn’t work more than 11 hours on the make-up day or 40 hours in the workweek. Granting an employee’s request to work make-up time is at the employer’s discretion.
California Meal Breaks
If an employee works more than five hours, an unpaid thirty-minute meal period must be provided. The exception to this policy is if the employee’s workday will be completed in no more than six hours, and both the employer and the employee agree to waive the meal period.
If an employee works more than 10 hours, a second thirty-minute meal period is mandated. However, if the employee works no more than 12 hours and the first meal break is not waived, the second meal period can be waived if both the employer and employee consent.
California Paid Sick Leave
In 2015 California became the second U.S. state to provide paid sick leave. California’s paid sick leave law applies to both private and public employees who have been employed for more than 90 days and who work in the state of California for at least 30 days within a year. While there is no exception for small businesses, California allows employers to choose from three different options for providing paid sick leave to employees. To learn more, including accrual details and exclusions to the law, read California Paid Sick Leave.
The WorkForce Software Solution
- Need to separate the exempt and non-exempt employees –You would set up groups for both exempt and non-exempt employees. Our workforce management solution lets you group employees into policy groups.
- Alternative schedules –You can set up multiple schedules of any duration or frequency, and easily apply them to groups of employees.
- Calculation of overtime pay –Formulas in our system allow an unlimited flexibility in determining hours that count toward overtime and applicable pay codes, as well as support for the 7th consecutive day law.
- Calculation of overtime for semi-monthly or alternative schedule employees –Regardless of the pay frequency, our software will apply labor laws correctly. If you use a semi-monthly or monthly pay frequency, the software will revert back to the last week of the prior period to determine if weekly overtime is due to an employee.
Sources and Additional Resources
For the complete text of the state’s labor laws, see California Labor Code.
Finally, the Labor Commissioner’s Office (also known as the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement) and the California Employment Development Department have information that may be valuable to employers and employees alike.
Also, see our page on FLSA guidelines for a summary of labor labors that apply in every state.
Notice: The information above and the references are provided “as-is” without any representation as to their accuracy or applicability to your specific situation. We recommend that you seek competent legal advice for all employment issues.